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Distribution: SuSE 8.2/9.0 Pro, IPCop, looking at others as time allows
Does/did your T40 have a recordable/rewriteable CD drive that was peviously on /dev/hdc?
The scsi-ide emulation layer could still be being activated. Check your grub/lilo config files. If you see an section like hdc=ide-scsi then thats the culprit.